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Stickers, Triangles and Breathalysers - the kit you need when driving abroad this summer

Kwik Fit | Friday 19th August 2016 10:00am

car speeding on mountain pass

For many,  the late August bank holiday will be a last chance to catch some summer sun and go away before the kids go back to school. The weak pound and increase in the price of foreign holidays following Brexit will put some off, but many determined Brits will still head abroad for their annual holiday and will take their own car along for the ride.

With an estimated 2 million cars heading to France this year and a further 500,000 travelling to Germany, our European neighbours will still see a fair few GB car stickers this summer. But did you know that it is a legal requirement to display this sticker when taking your car anywhere in the European Union?

If you are planning to take your car into Europe this summer, there are certain compulsory items you need to make sure you carry in the vehicle. Weíve previously revealed how many motorists do not carry out basic checks to their vehicle such as checking tyre pressure and coolant levels before embarking on a long journey. But itís equally as important to make sure you are carrying the right kit when travelling abroad if you want to avoid getting into hot water with the local authorities.

For example, did you know:

  • In France you must carry a breathalyser kit in your vehicle (although French authorities cannot currently impose a fine)? Further to this the drink-driving limit is lower in France than in the UK so itís recommended that you do not drink at all.
  • Warning triangles must be carried in many European countries however in Switzerland the warning triangle must be kept within easy reach of the driver's seat and not in the boot?
  • In Spain you must carry two warning triangles? This is also true in Croatia but only if towing a trailer.
  • In Belgium you must carry a fire extinguisher in the vehicle?
  • In Austria you must ensure there is a first aid kit in the vehicle?
  • Since most of Europe drives on the right, you will need to install headlamp beam converters so that you do not dazzle oncoming traffic? Failure to do so can result in an on the spot fine.
  • If your number plate features the Euro symbol and Great Britain (GB) national identifier, you donít need to display a separate GB sticker?

These are just some of the rules and regulations that can be easily overlooked by motorists when travelling abroad, but for a full list of what youíll need when driving in some of the most visited countries in Europe, have a look at our handy infographic:

Driving in Europe infographic

Country Compulsory Car Equipment
Austria GB Sticker, Headlamp Beam Converters, Hi Vis Jacket, First Aid Kit, Warning Triangle
Belgium GB Sticker, Headlamp Beam Converters, Hi Vis Jacket, Warning Triangle, Fire Extinguisher
Czech Republic GB Sticker, Headlamp Beam Converters, Hi Vis Jacket, First Aid Kit, Warning Triangle
Denmark GB Sticker, Headlamp Beam Converters, Warning Triangle
France GB Sticker, Headlamp Beam Converters, NF Approved Breathlyser (x2), Hi Vis Jacket, Warning Triangle
Germany GB Sticker, Headlamp Beam Converters
Italy GB Sticker, Headlamp Beam Converters, Hi Vis Jacket, Warning Triangle
Netherlands GB Sticker, Headlamp Beam Converters
Poland Headlamp Beam Converters, Hi Vis Jacket, Warning Triangle
Portugal GB Sticker, Headlamp Beam Converters, Hi Vis Jacket, Warning Triangle
Spain GB Sticker, Headlamp Beam Converters, Hi Vis Jacket, Warning Triangle (x2)
Switzerland GB Sticker, Headlamp Beam Converters

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